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Mar 09 2010

Stanford summary

Let me provide you with a visual explanation of why I want to go to Stanford:
Oh my god, how could one place be so beautiful? I think I’ve been living in Indiana way too long.

Seriously though, I really enjoyed Stanford, and not just for the lovely weather and beautiful palm trees (but those were definite perks). The professors and students were super nice and easy to talk to, the research was really interesting, and I think it would be a good fit for me. I’ll find out if I’m officially accepted later this week! The major downside is the cost of living – the cheapest apartments there are more than twice than what I’m paying now, sheesh. At least in grad school I’ll actually have a pay check. If I can live off virtually nothing, I think I’ll be okay even on a grad student’s salary.

In addition to going through the typical interview process, I also was invited to AHA!‘s meeting at Stanford. It was basically a big Q&A session where I talked about my experience blogging and a little bit about being an atheist in the midwest. I had a blast, and really enjoyed meeting the club members! Depending on my grad school decision, I might be going to those meetings a lot more often.

On Saturday we got a mini vacation, which was a lot of fun. We went to the Exploratorium, took a boat ride out to Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, and ate at a yummy pub in downtown San Francisco.
Sea lions!
I had no idea that there were boat police that could actually pull over other boats. And with a mounted gun! …I am easily amused.
Alcatraz and San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge
And meeeee, just to prove I’m not just making up my adventures.

42 comments

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  1. 1
    Brittany

    Wow. It really is lovely there. I hope you get accepted!

  2. 2
    Brittany

    Wow. It really is lovely there. I hope you get accepted!

  3. 3
    Kara

    I've grown up in northern California, currently live in SF and I have always thought Stanford was a very beautiful campus. You would enjoy it around here, the rent is just the price you pay for such a beautiful area. Good luck!

  4. 4
    Kara

    I’ve grown up in northern California, currently live in SF and I have always thought Stanford was a very beautiful campus. You would enjoy it around here, the rent is just the price you pay for such a beautiful area. Good luck!

  5. 5
    DEstlund

    Replace the palms with live oaks, and the lovely weather with searing heat, and you've got UT Austin. Just sayin. You've got options. :)

  6. 6
    David

    Replace the palms with live oaks, and the lovely weather with searing heat, and you’ve got UT Austin. Just sayin. You’ve got options. :)

  7. 7
    BeamStalk

    David, don't forget the bats!

    I really want to go to SF sometime it always looks beautiful.

  8. 8
    BeamStalk

    David, don’t forget the bats!I really want to go to SF sometime it always looks beautiful.

  9. 9
    timgreenwood

    It is a stunning campus and a beautiful area – but the East coast is nice as well. You will miss the snow.

  10. 10
    timgreenwood

    It is a stunning campus and a beautiful area – but the East coast is nice as well. You will miss the snow.

  11. 11
    Girl Technologist

    Don't overestimate the graduate student pay. You'll likely have to work more than half time to be able to live comfortably – but until you know for sure how much you'll be receiving, keep in mind that you might want to start contributing to an IRA or something for retirement, or start saving towards new furniture or a car, etc etc. Basically, you'll have more expenses than you do now, so factor that into your decision.

    Good luck!

  12. 12
    Girl Technologist

    Don’t overestimate the graduate student pay. You’ll likely have to work more than half time to be able to live comfortably – but until you know for sure how much you’ll be receiving, keep in mind that you might want to start contributing to an IRA or something for retirement, or start saving towards new furniture or a car, etc etc. Basically, you’ll have more expenses than you do now, so factor that into your decision.Good luck!

  13. 13
    krissthesexyatheist

    Welcome to super awesome Northern California, yea, and Stanford is cool too.

    Kriss

  14. 14
    kriss the sexy atheist

    Welcome to super awesome Northern California, yea, and Stanford is cool too.Kriss

  15. 15
    DEstlund

    Well hi there Kriss…

    *ahem* Exactly right, Beamstalk, guano to spare! And you must visit SF. It's the second (third if you count Austin) most fantastic city in the USA. (NYC wins, but barely, and Austin is just too full of win to let either really claim the glory of #1).

  16. 16
    David

    Well hi there Kriss…*ahem* Exactly right, Beamstalk, guano to spare! And you must visit SF. It’s the second (third if you count Austin) most fantastic city in the USA. (NYC wins, but barely, and Austin is just too full of win to let either really claim the glory of #1).

  17. 17
    Joé McKen

    That thing really does look bigger in person, eh?

    … Sorry, architecture geek in me surfacing again. That really is one hell of a beautiful campus. Lucky grad students.

    You seem more excited about Stanford one than any of the previous grad schools you’ve visited. I think you may have found your match?

  18. 18
    Joé McKen

    That thing really does look bigger in person, eh?… Sorry, architecture geek in me surfacing again. That really is one hell of a beautiful campus. Lucky grad students.You seem more excited about Stanford one than any of the previous grad schools you’ve visited. I think you may have found your match?

  19. 19
    Jessica

    I'm from the Bay Area and just moved out here to Chicago for grad school, so I'm tickled to see you considering the much more understandable choice of seeking WARMER climes. I think you'd love it. There's something for everyone in Northern California.

    I'm also pleased to see that the sea lions are back… they've been chillin' there since the 1980s, and randomly disappeared a few months ago. They must have just been taking a vacation.

  20. 20
    Jessica

    I’m from the Bay Area and just moved out here to Chicago for grad school, so I’m tickled to see you considering the much more understandable choice of seeking WARMER climes. I think you’d love it. There’s something for everyone in Northern California.I’m also pleased to see that the sea lions are back… they’ve been chillin’ there since the 1980s, and randomly disappeared a few months ago. They must have just been taking a vacation.

  21. 21
    shac

    You will not miss the snow. It is only 3.5 hours away in beautiful Lake Tahoe. I'm a california native the reason the rent is high is y'all come and never leave! I think you'l miss having creationists to talk with most of all. Good Luck love your blog!

  22. 22
    shac

    You will not miss the snow. It is only 3.5 hours away in beautiful Lake Tahoe. I’m a california native the reason the rent is high is y’all come and never leave! I think you’l miss having creationists to talk with most of all. Good Luck love your blog!

  23. 23
    Paul Gowder

    I am deeply offended that there is no picture of me under the heading of Stanford's beautiful campus. :-)

  24. 24
    Paul Gowder

    I am deeply offended that there is no picture of me under the heading of Stanford’s beautiful campus. :-)

  25. 25
    Julie

    shac – Oh, I don't think she'll have to look too hard for ignorant people in California. I ran into more passive/aggressive homophobia during my stays in San Diego and the San Fran area than I ever have here in Indiana. At least here they're open about it, instead of making snide little comments to my fiance about "watching your ass" while in the Castro.

    Jen – Still got you beat with St. Kitts. I can actually swim in my ocean without risking hypothermia, and the rent is cheaper. =P

  26. 26
    Julie

    shac – Oh, I don’t think she’ll have to look too hard for ignorant people in California. I ran into more passive/aggressive homophobia during my stays in San Diego and the San Fran area than I ever have here in Indiana. At least here they’re open about it, instead of making snide little comments to my fiance about “watching your ass” while in the Castro.Jen – Still got you beat with St. Kitts. I can actually swim in my ocean without risking hypothermia, and the rent is cheaper. =P

  27. 27
    Gwenny

    Yes, California!! My kids and I donate blood products at Stanford twice a month!! It's a beautiful campus with lots of friendly people. (Especially when they are taking your blood. :D )

  28. 28
    Gwenny

    Yes, California!! My kids and I donate blood products at Stanford twice a month!! It’s a beautiful campus with lots of friendly people. (Especially when they are taking your blood. :D )

  29. 29
    Yellow Hat Guy

    You didn't know about boat police? Just out of curiosity, what did you think the Coast Guard did before your trip?

  30. 30
    Yellow Hat Guy

    You didn’t know about boat police? Just out of curiosity, what did you think the Coast Guard did before your trip?

  31. 31
    Jen

    Ride around looking sexy while thwarting spies and things explode? Not pull over people for passing on the wrong side. Hey, I'm from Indiana, everything I know about bodies of water is from movies.

  32. 32
    Jen

    Ride around looking sexy while thwarting spies and things explode? Not pull over people for passing on the wrong side. Hey, I’m from Indiana, everything I know about bodies of water is from movies.

  33. 33
    givesgoodemail

    Was that the sculptures of Burghers of Calais in the green?

    SQUEEEEE!

  34. 34
    givesgoodemail

    Was that the sculptures of Burghers of Calais in the green?SQUEEEEE!

  35. 35
    Vanessa

    To be fair, Purdue has a pretty beautiful campus as well. Although Standford totally trumps Purdue because it has palm trees =P

    Jealous!

  36. 36
    Vanessa

    To be fair, Purdue has a pretty beautiful campus as well. Although Standford totally trumps Purdue because it has palm trees =P Jealous!

  37. 37
    Erp

    Yes those are the Burghers. Stanford has a large collection of Rodins and much other art. A couple of the engineering buildings even have rotating exhibits by current artists.

    The palm trees are not native and are rumored to cost a fortune (apparently a college legend though at $2-3,000 for a new big tree not cheap either).

  38. 38
    Erp

    Yes those are the Burghers. Stanford has a large collection of Rodins and much other art. A couple of the engineering buildings even have rotating exhibits by current artists.The palm trees are not native and are rumored to cost a fortune (apparently a college legend though at $2-3,000 for a new big tree not cheap either).

  39. 39
    TheSlat

    Nothing beats the ability to go surfing in the morning then snowboarding that afternoon, followed the next day by a hike in the dessert or a forest! There is so much stuff to do and all so close you will find it hard not to go off on adventures every weekend. I have been teaching on the east coast for 2 years now but am headed back to my California home to return to school in the fall and I can't wait!

    There are religious extremes but they are a minority usually, but still plenty of ignorance at times. The woo can get a little overwhelming (especially in the bay area!) so watch out :)

  40. 40
    TheSlat

    Nothing beats the ability to go surfing in the morning then snowboarding that afternoon, followed the next day by a hike in the dessert or a forest! There is so much stuff to do and all so close you will find it hard not to go off on adventures every weekend. I have been teaching on the east coast for 2 years now but am headed back to my California home to return to school in the fall and I can’t wait!There are religious extremes but they are a minority usually, but still plenty of ignorance at times. The woo can get a little overwhelming (especially in the bay area!) so watch out :)

  41. 41
    Andrew B

    Whoa, you were in my neck of the woods. San Francisco… It's great here. Apparently all the sea lions left the Bay due to El Nino weather patterns. The ones you saw there at pier 39 are the slackers. There are usually more than 100. Coming from a sailor… beware the boat police. Actually, I've never seen them really do anything, but there are some giant Coast Guard cutters in the bay with real guns…

  42. 42
    Andrew B

    Whoa, you were in my neck of the woods. San Francisco… It’s great here. Apparently all the sea lions left the Bay due to El Nino weather patterns. The ones you saw there at pier 39 are the slackers. There are usually more than 100. Coming from a sailor… beware the boat police. Actually, I’ve never seen them really do anything, but there are some giant Coast Guard cutters in the bay with real guns…

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